What standard/grade shall I use?
The connection will only operate at the speed of the lowest grade of cable and so it is important to understand what type of patch lead to use.
CAT5e links support Gigabit Ethernet (1 Gbps) connections and as they are the lowest cost, may be used in cabinets for general connections that are patched to Gigabit ports.
Where you have long cable runs using CAT6 cable/panels, it is best to use CAT6 leads.
Some 10 Gbps connections operate over short distance using CAT6 products, so for these do not use CAT5e leads. Other devices require all CAT6a products for their successful operation and so links may fail unless CAT6a flyleads are fitted.
Using coloured leads within cabinets allows the quick identification of important connections, so it is best to set your own standard, such as
- Grey = general computers/printers
- Red = switch inter-connections
- Green = servers and associated storage devices
- Violet = Voice such as VoIP or standard telephone handsets
- Orange = wireless Access Points
- Yellow = CCTV cameras
Other popular colours that are generally available in a range of lengths are white, black and blue.
We always recommend using booted leads, with latch protection.
The boot protects the plug/cable from strain, maximising the life of the cable.
Without protection, the latch is often broken when cables are moved or disconnected.
If the plugs become loose in panels, switches, sockets or computers, due to a damaged latch, the resulting intermittent connection, will cause problems which maybe difficult to identify quickly.